Living By Faith

What does living by faith look like to you? To James Wells and R.E. Winsett, it meant living a worry-free life. He wasn’t suggesting we walk around with our heads in the clouds, ignoring life. He was telling us to rest in the peace granted to us through the work of Jesus Christ.

The Authors

James Wells (1872-1947) wrote the first three verses of this hymn. He was a poet, newspaper columnist, and hymnist. I couldn’t find much about his life except he was the son of Chauncey Wells and Susannah Freer, and he authored sixty-four hymns.

Robert Emmett Winsett (1876-1952) wrote the fourth verse. He was a prolific writer and publisher. He published the hymnal Best of All in 1952 and sold 600,000 upon its release. The hymn “Jesus is Coming Soon” became the Song of the Year in 1969. In 2002, Winsett was inducted into the Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame.

When I find an author who has written several of my favorite songs, I feel like I’ve found a friend. R.E. Winsett is one of those writers. I have heard the following songs all my life. The words have blessed me countless times.

Wayfaring Stranger

His Blood is on My Soul

Will You Meet Me Over Yonder?

Lift Me Up Above the Shadows

When My Savior Reached Down for Me

Jesus Is Coming Soon

The Song

I care not today what the morrow may bring,
If shadow or sunshine or rain,
The Lord I know ruleth o’re everything,
And all of my worry is vain.

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you (1 Peter 5:7 KJV)

Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7 KJV).

Like the hymnist, Paul is not suggesting we dismiss genuine concerns. He points us to a way to live worry-free: praying about everything.

Shall keep means to guard. The Philippians were used to seeing Roman soldiers standing guard in Philippi. They would understand Paul’s meaning. God’s peace standing guard at the door of our minds is reassuring!

Living by faith in Jesus above,
Trusting, confiding in His great love;
From all harm safe in His sheltering arm,
O, I’m living by faith and I feel no alarm.

In the chorus, the writers tell us how to live by faith:

Though tempests may blow and the storm clouds arise,
Obscuring the brightness of life,
I’m never alarmed at the overcast skies,
The Master looks on at the strife.

Notice the writer tells his reader the tempests will blow. No ifs about that.

The LORD looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men (Psalm 33:13 KJV). 

Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy (Psalm 33:18 KJV). 

I know that He safely will carry me through,
No matter what evils betide,
Why should I then care though the tempest may blow,
If Jesus walks close to my side.

We will face spiritual rivers, fires, and flames through the hardships of life. But we shouldn’t be overcome with care. There’s a better way. Lean into His promises!

When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee (Isaiah 43:2 KJV).

Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name. Let thy mercy, O LORD, be upon us, according as we hope in thee (Psalm 33:20-22 KJV). 

Our Lord will return to this earth some sweet day
Our troubles will then all be o’er
The Master so gently will lead us away
Beyond that blest heavenly shore

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 KJV). 

What a glorious thought!

The Video

Come and Dine

Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine (John 21:12 KJV).

Just as Jesus cooked a meal for His disciples, He’s prepared a banquet for us. Each day, He extends an invitation to come and dine on His Word. It’s a meal prepared with our specific nutritional needs in mind. No meal is the same.

Think about that!

The Author

Charles B. Widmyer began voice lessons at the age of twelve. He wrote his first song when he was fifteen. Come and dine was written after reading and meditating on the above passage.

The Song

Jesus has a table spread
Where the saints of God are fed,
He invites His chosen people, “Come and dine”;
With His manna He doth feed
And supplies our every need:
Oh, ’tis sweet to sup with Jesus all the time!

“Come and dine,” the Master calleth, “Come and dine”;
You may feast at Jesus’ table all the time;
He Who fed the multitude, turned the water into wine,
To the hungry calleth now, “Come and dine.”

The disciples came to land,
Thus obeying Christ’s command,
For the Master called unto them, “Come and dine”;
There they found their heart’s desire,
Bread and fish upon the fire;
Thus He satisfies the hungry every time. [Refrain]

Soon the Lamb will take His bride
To be ever at His side,
All the host of heaven will assembled be;
Oh, ’twill be a glorious sight,
All the saints in spotless white;
And with Jesus they will feast eternally. [Refrain]

Charles B. Widmyer – 1907 – Public Domain

The Video

Several videos were found on this song, ranging from southern gospel to bluegrass. I chose The Issacs because it reminded me of when my teenage brother taught himself how to play the banjo.

One of the first lessons you must learn is a technique called a roll. You have a forward, backward, reverse, and alternating thumb roll. You pluck the notes over and over and over and over. The secret is to play it slowly until you get it. Speed comes with precision. It’s not the prettiest sound. In fact, it’s right up there with a three-year-old cuttin’ loose on a fiddle. And *Bubba didn’t sound much better. Several plucks into his lesson found him outside on the porch.

Momma enjoys listening to him now, but she wasn’t a fan when he was learning. Come to think of it, neither was I.

*Names have been changed to protect the innocent. That would be me.

Please join me next week for an article on this scripture. Enjoy the video!